So many of us are working and/or attending school at home now. With coronavirus still a big threat, this has become a new way of life. Our dining room tables have turned into office desks, we are learning how to not watch TV while getting work done, are eating way too many snacks, and are sharing resources with school-age kids who also are learning how to turn a home into a classroom.
While we may feel more accustomed to this shift since COVID hit at the beginning of the year, there are some helpful tips to make sure we are being efficient, healthy, and most importantly happy. Like everything else in life, working from home and taking virtual classes at home is a learning process, and taking specific steps can make the transition a little, or a whole lot smoother; here are some we like to live by.
Be Kind to Yourself
It is imperative to remember to be kind to yourself. This year has been a doozy, and everyone is feeling a bit disoriented, irritated, and sad. We are also being thrust into so many unexpected changes, like working from home. Just be patient, take a deep breath when you feel overwhelmed, and take it a moment at at time.
Just like you take two 15 minute breaks and a lunch hour or half hour at work, you must remember to do the same at home. Boredom may make you work for way too long at time, which can cause burn out. Get up, walk around to keep your circulation in tip-top shape, and grab a healthy snack.
One of the best life tips there are is to drink enough water. It will improve your mood, make your skin glow, and help you feel healthy. The general rule of thumb is to divide your weight in half and drink that number of ounces of water.
Have a Schedule
Time doesn’t seem the same right now. At home, we can often feel like we have all the time in the world to do things, and often put off things for later. It’s good to set up a regular schedule so your time is well-spent. After all, wouldn’t you prefer to finish your work on time, or early and have more free time after to do fun and relaxing things?!
Set a Dedicated Space for Work
Sure, the couch is comfy and the bed is even comfier. But, you’ll feel more at work and productive if you dedicate a particular space, such as the dining room table. This will also help keep your posture correct and avoid unnecessary aches and pains.
Get Some Exercise
Whether it’s a brisk moment of cardio during a 15-minute break, or a lunchtime run outside in the sun, exercise will keep you from getting cabin fever at home. It will also give you a moment to get some fresh air, break a sweat, and feel your best. YouTube has a ton of cool workouts for different time frames, from high-intensity workouts to relaxing, centering yoga.
Keep Connected to Others
It’s easy to isolate yourself, and operate like an island within an ocean. Everyone is feeling this isolation, since we are encouraged to stay home for work and school. That’s why it’s important to remember to reach out to coworkers, friends, and family. Not only will it lift your spirits to connect with the people you love to hear from, but it will help checking in with others going through the same thing, and who may have helpful tips for improving work and school situations.
You’ve heard the saying “you are what you eat,” but it’s true! While you’ll want to binge on sugary snacks, tons of caffeine, and cheesy goodness because you’re bored and at home, too much of anything will only be bad for your health (it’s perfectly fine to have a cheat day though!). Instead, load up on fresh veggies and fruits, lean protein like chicken and turkey, and whole grains, like a nice bowl of oatmeal for breakfast. You’ll feel better, have more energy, and will be ready to tackle your day.
Take a Nap (Yes, Really)
You have to use the benefits of working/going to school at home. One such benefit is being able to take a wonderful power nap in the middle of the day. Aim for 20 minutes or less, before 6pm, as anything more, or later, will leave you feeling groggy and may hinder nighttime sleep.
Get Some Sunshine
Humans need to connect with nature, even if it’s during a coffee break. Take a moment, even a few minutes each day to go outside, get some sunshine, and breathe some fresh air. It will make your work and/or school day that much happier and productive.
It’s so easy to make a mess with papers, notebooks, pens, electronics, cords, and more when you’re working and/or taking classes at home. Your home can have a trail of evidence showing exactly where you worked that day. That’s why it’s important to keep your work space organized and contained. Be sure to put your supplies and electronics away when you’re done, have a dedicated space for storage, and throw away papers at least once a day. It will prevent so much stress.
As mentioned earlier, time doesn’t seem to feel the same in 2020. We are less on schedule, have more time at home, and can feel like we are struggling to keep on task. Nothing keeps you focused like some good lists. Write out your daily goals so you know what’s on deck for the day and what you’d like to accomplish. Didn’t get it all done? Don’t beat yourself up; you can add it to another day where you’ll have more time.
Be Comfortable (But Get Dressed for Work/School)
There have been memes galore about how everyone is working from home in PJs, sweats, and the notorious business on top, loungewear on the bottom outfits of Zoom meetings. It’s definitely imperative to be comfortable, especially in your own home. But, getting a bit more dressed up and putting on some shoes will make you feel more like you’re at work, and less like it’s a lazy weekend. Of course, do what works, and feels best for you!
See the Silver Lining
When you’re shifted into different realities, without your planning, you can feel out of control, upset, and sad. But, the key to staying happy is to find the positive in every situation. Sure, we may be working and studying from home, but guess what? You get to spend more time in your home; get to spend more time with your family; don’t have to commute or pay for gas, parking, and outside meals; and most importantly, still have a job. This is just a generalization; your silver lining may look totally different, but there’s one there, we promise!